Like many students around the nation right now, I can’t believe I’m in my last semester of college. Time sure does fly, but I honestly didn’t feel the clock ticking until I became an active member of PRSSA. As a PRSSA member, I started to learn the things that I will take with me into the real world. While I still have a long way to go, PRSSA provided me with opportunities to expand my knowledge and add a fair share of points to my résumé.
Being a senior has made me realize how proactive I have to be about accomplishing everything I hoped to in my short years in school. Consequently, I have put together a bucket list of the skills public relations students should learn before graduating college:
Compose a comprehensive editorial calendar on Microsoft Excel.
Learn at least one management platform (Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc.).
Take part in at least one Twitter chat. (Hint: Begin with PRSSA’s next one.)
Learn to read Facebook and Twitter analytics.
Bonus if you learn to manage Facebook and/or Google ads.
Write and send at least one press release to local media. You can even write one for Chapter News.
Afterwards, write a pitch email to complement the press release.
Build a media list (bonus if you learn programs such as Gorkana and Cision).
Conquer the basics of Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. Create a graphic to accompany your social media posts and design a flier for an event.
Prove your AP style and PRSSA Style Guide knowledge by writing an article for Progressions and/or FORUM.
Work on any sort of event planning: a party, Chapter event, fundraiser, showcase, etc. (bonus if you get sponsorship, registration, speaker outreach, etc. involved).
Know how to research. Do a proper SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for your dream client.
Basic HTML knowledge: Learn to make small changes such as changing fonts and colors from the back end.
So much to do, so little time! Obviously there are many more skills I can add to this list. What is at the top of your public relations bucket list?
Paige Weber is the PRSSA 2014–2015 vice president of Chapter development and a senior at Louisiana State University. Follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.